Tokyo’s Tsuta, the first ramen restaurant to receive a Michelin star, will open its first NYC location on Friday, November 18, at 22 Old Fulton Street, near Elizabeth Place. The restaurant is located next to %Arabica, another hit Japanese transplant that opened in the neighborhood two years earlier.
The opening was delayed by the unexpected death of the restaurant’s 43-year-old founder, Yuki Onishi, in September, according to a spokesperson. Onishi worked in his father’s ramen restaurant when he was younger, and went on to be a fashion merchandiser who frequently visited New York. In 2012, he opened a small ramen shop in Tokyo that was awarded one Michelin star in 2015: the first star ever awarded to a ramen shop in the world. It was allegedly a dream of Onishi’s to open a restaurant in New York City, so owners Makiko Takahashi and Alan Lo, in partnership with Tsuta Global CEO, Brian Chua, decided to move forward with the Brooklyn location.
Tsuta will offer five different types of ramen, including the Tokyo location’s shoyu with a soy base and black truffle sauce; and a shio version with a dashi base and non-traditional ramen additions like spearmint and green olive sauce. The menu also lists tonkotsu and mala tonkotsu ramen.
Unique to the Brooklyn outpost is a vegetable ramen made with okra, leeks, and lotus. Gyoza, tori karaage, and other small plates priced between $6 and $12 round out the menu.
Tsuta, with 40 seats inside and about 15 outdoors, is part of a commercial development by Avdoo Partners. It’s one of at least two locations planned for New York City and a handful on track to open in the U.S. and Canada.
Having grown into an international chain of sorts, Tsuta now has eight restaurants worldwide: the Tokyo original, five in Singapore, and two in Bangkok; the New York outpost is the ninth. It marks the second time the ramen shop has opened in the U.S.; the original debuted in San Francisco back in October 2019 and closed during the pandemic. San Francisco Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho gave it tepid reviews before the lockdown in 2020.
Tsuta will be open from noon to 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8 p.m. daily.